Annual report 2016 of the Belgian Development Cooperation
In its annual report 2016, published today, the Belgian Development Cooperation highlights some new accents of the Belgian development policy, a whole range of results and activities as well as the distribution of budgetary resources. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo emphasizes the renewal of our international development policy. A renewal that he wants to pursue in the next few years, including in the field of digitalisation, the link between the private sector and the development world, and our humanitarian efforts. Read the full text of the annual report here.
Belgium is one of the pioneers in the field of digitalisation and development. Encouraged by Belgium, the European Union decided to give a much more significant role to digital technology in the European development policy. In 2016 Belgium became a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, an alliance of countries, companies and NGOs using data to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In September we adopted in Belgium the strategy note Digital for Development that opens up new digital horizons for our development policy. Besides, in November, the prize Digital for Development was awarded for the first time to promising digital development projects.
Moreover, the link between the private sector and the developing world was strengthened in 2016. This is an important fact as the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is comprehensive to such an extent that the involvement of the private sector is a critical success factor. In July, the Chamber of Representatives adopted the draft law opening up the capital of BIO to private investors, enabling them to join forces and support the investments of BIO aimed as always at stimulating sustainable local economic growth and at creating important social added value in developing countries.
In the autumn, more than 80 partners signed the Belgian SDG Charter. It is worth noting that private companies, government organisations and civil society find each other in embracing the Sustainable Development Goals. In the following years we need to make this partnership concrete in areas such as digitalisation, healthcare and sustainable entrepreneurship.
Also on the budgetary side some good results were achieved, in spite of the difficult situation: a global increase of ODA to 0.49% as well as an increase of our humanitarian budget to the highest level ever. In the course of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Belgium and the International Committee of the Red Cross worked together to develop an innovative financing tool, namely the very first Humanitarian Impact Bond (HIB) bringing together classic donors and private investors for the construction of centres for physical rehabilitation in regions affected by conflicts and violence.
“It is clear that Belgium is determined more than ever to show leadership. The only way to be effective in meeting this objective is to continue innovation in the following years”, according to Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation.